Saturday, 14 February 2009

A little art for Valentine's Day

In case you wondered – no, I haven't forgotten what day it is.

More of that tomorrow – but here's a little bit of appropriate art for you to enjoy.

It's a netsuke – a miniature Japanese sculpture. They were first invented in the 17th century for a practical purpose – to help hang a sort of purse from a man's kimono.

Almost inevitably, they developed into an art form. And equally inevitably, one of the many different forms that they took was erotic. Known as shunga, erotic netsuke can be as overt as this or they can be humorous or very symbolic.

This one is traditional ivory. It was probably carved in the early 20th century, is just over 4cm long and was bought in Amsterdam at new year – my first piece of original erotic art.


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